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tv   In Depth Joanne Freeman  CSPAN  October 11, 2019 11:58pm-2:00am EDT

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to their mental health and really way to the future. and being in contact withh them is what fuels me. >> in-depth with naomi klein. her work including no logo, noise on the left, the shock doctrine, and on fire. thank you for joining us in cspan2 book tv, we appreciate it. >> it is my pleasure this week you are watching but tv. watch top nonfiction authors and books so long with coverage of events. in interviews on policy technology and more. bless her signature programs in-depth, and afterwards, enjoy the tv this week and every weekend on c-span. and now, but tv his monthly
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in-depth program. with author and historian, joanne freeman. books include affairs of honor,o the essential hamilton, and most recently, the field of blood. violence in congress and the road to civil war. >> joanne freeman you are going to hate this opening question. spak zero. >> trace the art of our nations history from 1783, 21861, the political history. >> wow. okay, the speech. that's a little i daunting. tracy r. i'm going to do historian thing and speak generally. i guess i would say if you are looking in american politics, from the beginning like through we could even go after the war, talking about paradoxes, and conflict. i tend to focus on is really more the early part of the ark.
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it is the improvisational nature of that. it is because the nation was founded in a world of monarchy. and you know the united states of republic what that means was it so clear at the moment and people knew they were trying to do something that wasn'tth that. so were not going to create a monarchy the president is going to be a king but beyond that, there's a lot of open ground. so there's a lot of improv in those early decades. about what the nation is, how it functions, the tone of the company, how this nation is going to stand upp amongst the nations of the world there are other kinds of nations. we need to be a republican in a world of monarchies. and houses nation going to get any degree of respect. and, equally if not more significant part of it inside of that nation is concerned, kind nation his going to be. that is true of that question on every loophole that we mention
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the troop. so there's this ideological loophole that's true. but there's a ground loophole and how democratic nation is going to be. who is going to own the land. now that lynn is literally going to be from other people will people haveh some what kind of the rights will people not have it all. a lot of the questions are grappling with now, are questions about equality and rights of race and they go back to the beginning of the republic and beyond. so as a historian, living in the moment we are living in now, thinking in that parking. we deal with these big questions in these big legacies of undecided things. for single system and they go all of the way back. >> will be inherentlyy democratic. to begin with. >> l. [laughter] so we weren't a
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monarchy. and americans have a very strong sense of or certainly the week white male american had a very strong sense of their white and they felt that they were creating a more democratic gene than what has been read before. they feel rights attached to the constitution. there's a reason for it. there were very bright minute for the by means was a country founded people everyone will haveeo rights. there will be equality. really different, not all the parties but there were certainly two points of viewso the foundig the federalists hamilton the republicans, jefferson which is over simple fight with those of the two camps. then a different view in each how democratic the nation should be. federalists wanted to be less democratic republic that's what it's about and more but even so, they have pretty limited use of
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democratic. so what i teach about this and tell my students are all kind of words that you have to think about the meaning of. democracy is the big one because if you s see that word in the founding. it does not mean the same thing that the beads now. you have toha restate and recalculate what you know talking about your looking at the founding things that now political buses. >> how monday points of view were there back then. and since they were divided democrats and republicans andub independents. >> was at the case back then? >> i would say is more complex than that. they weren't thinking in the way that we think about parties. we think of party as if it was an institution, the structure, and organization if you let yourself in one. do yourself back to the mindset of the founding. they were assuming, for small national party about the idea that this donation, they could get that something that
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overarching that that monday people would buy into. also the sever states. i would've on the card not beyond that. a national party, is the good thing. they assume the republic meant black a few points ringing up against each other. and then in the national centers, those viewpoints would bring up against each other and ultimately some kind of decision or compromise or something would be worked out. that was the point. initially, they were assuming there should be two or three viewpoints. there were federalists and republicans on what i like to call the umbrellas of legal thought. even on those. they were mass differences. if you know federalists managed tissues, or in south carolina that could be something really different. so there's a lot of more of the spectrum i would say than categories. in the founding.
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>> or some of the privatizations that did not succeed is on the dead. >> to teach about the fun ones, some of the culture in prop in other words, one of the wonderful things about studying and writing about the mannings is the federal kinds of things in writing. you and expect them to put it in so john adams, writing to a friend and staying, passionate american politician dress. and while look like those sort of british or french european aristocrats, the building i have is from my years you wrote and they have a lot of lights on that. is that to misplace the americans. should i strip some of the place away in t washington. how monday horses, on the carriage would seem appropriately american forces how monday. it sounds really trivial and
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goofy in part of why it's so much fun to teach but on the other hand, they were serious and thinking about the fact that those kinds of little seemingly stylistic decisions are really going to shape the town and the character of the government and sense of precedence. the kind of improv have a big impact. solomon had, it's almost comical lisa seems trivial and on the other hand it really is an trivial and that in of itself is interesting.s >> have several hundred white male elites forming this country with the vian from 34 billion people who look there at the time. >> one hand, there's a small group elite people that have power and on the other hand revolution was not conducted by 30 guys in the room. support to remember that whatever's going oner on this te period, off of the elite have power and are very worried about maintaining power, a lot happening around them as part of
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the town challenge or what i want to call it, intimacy difficulties but challenge or the tensions of that. does the american people. now how to voice what they wanted how to demand what they want and how this simply would work for them. if it doesn't work for them, what can they make it work for the better. it just isn't a handful of guys who are running everything. the american people understood and abroad kind of a sense, they have rights in some ways and eofferent as a people set a different understanding of what rights there was a proper sense whatever the experience was that was going on the rights for something that was being worked out and determined that the potentially extended more widely supported what had come to europe. >> was awake and went to he believed.
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>> going to made it through the question by moving ahead in time to ask. about parties, and categories, right people were particularly nowou go back in time brought state lines between the parties of prisons in the past, though i say will up here republican and goes all the way back to jefferson there are no straight lines in industry. certainly no straight lines when it comes to political parties. parties back bounced back and forth the name change all the time. for a while, you have the democratic party which was its own thing. on the one hand and you had was no more than any thing else the anti- jacksonians, it was really a party that waseo people who really want that. we don't want jackson or what they represent. the time away party, would end up in the mid- 19th century essentially two main parties jackson and democratic was of
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the popular common man or white man on one side and on the site, the weeks which are more centralized which are sort of more big national government and represent the late sort of two threads that we can continue still see early representative very different.of view. see back if you know giving her a message you should our president of the roses at the time, who held more political power. smacked at the timing any the earlier the founding or later on. you act whenever you t deem. >> you all the way back to the real founding moment, good question. there were people like calvin federalists, who assumed that the bulk of the powers of the state, and not with the national government. and who knew would encompass truly above and beyond.
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the very skeletal constitution. this really brief for what it does. so calvin and hisef bill thought that the made it through the question was the governor of massachusetts probably might say the president has a lot of power in the matter is for people, their loyalty and their sense of belongingness in their understanding of powers pretty much going to be grounded in their states. over time that shifts. but in the 19th century certainly the first half of the 19th century fewer to pick up a newspaper from that period, congress would be getting a lot more tension in the present that.so again, we assume now that the t president is all-powerful the president resumes and that is not an early american way of really thinking about that. >> reading your book so i don't know if this is purposeful or if i missed it,. >> zero. >> the president doesn't play a
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large role the present place today. >> right. it is partly deliberate and partly it iss true that throughout this. clearlyrs americans understood that the president was significant in the early founding periods try to figure out what thater means, congress and people would understand that congress is really where nation is being worked out in ground-level kind of way people felt that they had a direct connection with their member of congress when members of congress stood up and spoke particularly we do get into the 1840s and 1850s, and they see they were speaking t to ther constituents in the press was creating that kind of conversation back and forth so congressman or tremendously. i think in ways that nowadays there are more focused on congress for different reasons.
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i think the 20 century beeped and focus on the president. it's not necessarily the case. >> would we recognize congress today as we would back then in the early republic. >> in the early republic, no i don't think we would recognize either. nearly republic, i suppose in some ways, i think will be assumed congress should look like. compared with communists. with what i just written a book. it is a group of men white man, in a room a above and beyond th, there are debating and you know making decisions legislation are those of the things that we see congress to do. over time the united states becomes a lot more violent. in congress of the representative body. they become a lot more violent and in that case, because look in some ways that we would not
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necessarily expect. >> for me about the field of blood. hasn't sick it are an apt metaphor for congress in the decades before the civil war. yes there were story operatory on occasion. yes there were unions shaking decisions being made but underneath the speechifying pontificating and politicking, was a splitt spattered rug. aunt noah and congress had its admiral full moments but it wasn't an assembly ofn' demigod. it was a human institution with very human failings. >> was an important.for me to make an earlier.in the book because my assumption about what most people think about in particular congress in this time period. the period of clay and the sort of rich men. congress is the bunch of people in black suits sort of thing, i
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have a lofty thought. it is very important for me at top say no, this is the real human institution number one, number two is an unruly institution. it's a different world that you assume and the book really is about this human institution. and how it functions and how that shapes the nation. such is their politics but the americans understanding of the nation. >> was an affair of honor. >> the question. that's another kind of fundamental think that in the early.of my first book. i talked about people think about becomes an all encompassing term. a dual. and i think you'll assumed that solomon was. two men on theo field facing eh other in shooting each other. part of the point them in the first book, iss an affair of honor is bigger than that. in the point of an affair of honor, or even a dual, is very
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counterintuitive. the course of you in the field and facing each other in shooting. someone wasn't trying to kill someone in my early placesl no, the point of an affair of honor or a dual is to prove that you know wheeling to die for your honor. affair of honor means that it's a long sort of personalized series of better exchanges and negotiations and very often can take place and some men can redeem the names and honor. learning have to make it out the dual events. an affair of honor includes all of that ritualized negotiations. let's get past the point in your unduly grant, that becomes a dual, but at the point, death isn't the point, the point is the components of it. the point really think about it, is the terrifying thing send unduly grant for somebody with a gun and stand there and lastly shoot at you. this part of it to prove that you know the kind of man and
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this leader, who is wheeling to die for a name and reputation. it makes no sense to us now but it clearly made so much sense of them inside. that hundreds of people ended up working those times. >> where we talk of the beginning of u.s. history, about the burr hamilton duel of 1804. well why are we talking about it. partly because sometimes histories about, the waste lease some teaching. good stories, he seemed to run things up. you get the king in charleston evolution, dramatic stories that people sort of use to encapsulate lots of things. i think if people teach that, the t-shirt percival is one ands only instance. inside of this great hcc of thee two men and it somehow is typical of that. and that class hamilton and
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burr, i think it is a lot of character work. maybe more than anything else but i don't think were at least recently, has not been taught as a o way of getting deeper and a cat understanding something the gutless politics in that. and how it wouldcs work. >> what happened on the day waiting for and why did it happen. >> over and hamilton had been hamilton was largely the pool behind much of that opposition. he really thought of him as something of a downward dog, because he was someone who came from the equivalent of royalty and the family, he was someone who hamilton saw an opportunist. really early on in the relationship back in 1792. pretty much a direct quote. i consider my religious duty to oppose his career.
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this is syria's opposite patient you have going there. it is bound and determined to squash bert's career. the goes on for quite some time. in the election of 18 hundreds, when it ends up being a tie between two candidates from the sameca party bring jefferson hamilton steps forward but has everything he needs to do to wash, does not make her happy. they actually dual at that.and it got smooth over four years later, is running for governor of new york and hamilton was again steps forward to do omerything he can do to stop it from happening. and look, someone steps forward after that since we've seen the reports of what hamilton said about you and a dinner party has the bird. environment this.need to prove that he is thes man a leader since he is losing contents after contest. he wants to redeem his name so
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he acts on that. it happens to be hamilton his words so you end up with were being handed something in his mind is dual worthy. so he commences an affair of honor hamilton. exchanges ritualized letters. another one, it doesn't go swimmingly. usually say this kind of letters we do they say the same thing. i've heard you said this about me, is that true or false. of deny it or not. i need this is a gentleman or a man of honor. you knew l your unduly territory so you had to think very hard about how you responded. , his response it's not ideal. he writes hamilton uses 18 words for one. he rises very late the response and talks about this opposable he calls and says something more despicable about her. these were the words he picked
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up on. what you mean despicable. and hamilton is sort ofen a grandma list and he's asking is despicable really a word. what you mean by that. so you are an angry person who's just been called despicable. dilute the letter, this conflict burr. hehe says right away i always stand behind all of my words. and not an exception to that now. i am wheeling to fight. pretty words that i have said. since not strategically smart thing for him to defend the kind of letter. his offensive into a's. burr gives it and defends it. basically responds by staying you are not behaving like a gentleman. i'm sonic gentlemanly thing to do the other.he they are both offended. we can kind of see how things spiraled to the point that a trip to the dooley grounds would be the outcome. >> is totally legal. >> no.
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does the state-by-state thing. every state has its own anti- dueling regulations. a challenge might be against the law the dual itself might be against the law. the punishment is different. massachusetts coming to be publicly humiliated in some way. i think it was a fine. fearla massachusetts, she got, u pay a fine. it was a lot less daunting. but it was illegal, but was largely the lawmakers doing the dueling. so the people making love is people breaking the law. this shows you a lot about this. in the kind of help they had this. to connect to have spent is it too much time talking about the actual tools in a set up to this rather than or does it, is the microcosm of what is going on in the country. >> people to the folks on the story. and particularly now that we are in the land of the hamiltons.
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that's front and center. there's a lot of dueling. i think the practice of dueling is worth looking at. because it tells a lot about elite politics and being a politician. the political culture of theol time. i can tell you a lot about the kind of emotional that's of some of the politics of the. the harp or hamilton shouldn't and yelled dueling, it's just dramatic. the vice president of the united states kill the secretary. it's a dirty pretty dramatic story. going too focus on one tool, and excessive that's on but i think for is it too long, there are a lot of things there were setting is w well. >> he did not get elected mayor of new york. hamilton is very effective, and having to various aspects of the career. number had reason to be part. here's a controversial thing offering. and i think there wanted to kill
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hamilton. i don't think that was his purpose. the first of all, most tools those baby are andrew jackson, most tools are not really wanting to kill. i don't think her date. sometime before the dual hee is asked about the dr.. in a the dr., person something o long the lines of enemy dodgers. just get it over with. thank you sick it would be typicalhi think. you should eachl. other, you boh procurement of honor a newpr chk as you leave. obut tragically, and become the sort of melon in american history for killing hamilton and i don't think that was his aim. to me putting words in the english language but i don't think that was his purpose in going to the dooley room. to close his live like after that. >> betty z. he seemed because at that., all the dooley is common enough, oliver's enemies that he a lot
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of them, essentially getting up hamilton,killing of he is vulnerable. one reason why people didn't try to kill people duels. you become vulnerable for having killing someone. this is what happened to him. these various politics going together try to squash him, he and his friends that his newspaper editors and the boatman who rode him across to the dooley grounds, they flee new york. it is up in south carolina where he had suffered a little while. he killed hamilton so that was a good place to be. nobody knew. he ultimately became vice president. he goes back to washington heeic finishes this vice presidency. it was about vice president. it's been a good one. he clearly it's not going to be sitting around for a second term. he is up kind of going out last and it's unclear what he's doing out west. he appears to be marching around with young men with guns and i
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think he saw that something was going to happen and there's going to be in mexico. if he was there, that somehow or other he could see the western and literally frontier where he might be able to havees a different kind ofht hard. still not entirely sure what hek was doing out there but he is tried for treason because it looks like activity that he was doing. he is acquitted but now he i is pretty much, what frontier has left him national or local politics. and in south basically exiling himself to europe. he hangs out with wayne godwin and has a very interesting exile bizarre kind of live you wrote hanging out with intellectuals. then his old edge he comes back to new york, and it's kind of a tourist attraction. people like to go back and practice law. is an anen older man people like to go to his law office if you are in theo window so that they can say that they saw ehrenberg.
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the common defense snubbed thehe industry. skylab and hamiltonian and i still think it's kind of a sad ending. so it does not have an easy time with it. and actually, there are lots of accounts of members of congress to see him and he comes back to finish the vice presidency. what they say about him, is that abhe seemed fatigued and the anxiety ofli dealing with what s in dealing with, you can see it about him. so i don't think he has an easy kind ofsn live. for his really older years. i think they were difficult years for him. i thinknk is one of only two politicians in this. i've seen ever to decide politics using the word fun. he actually says, navigation politics for almost a direct quote, fun and honor and profit. because pretty blunt. it pretty. so he acknowledges it. i don't he acknowledges that.
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and you get that from him. then he's enjoying the game. he isam just more honest about e fact these enjoying it. but i think some ways those later years, he may have maybe not had so much fun. >> he was the other one. >> charles sankey from south carolina that said he considers politics fun. there might be others floating around out there. but i think of these 18th century political correspondence, just the soup so far. susan you know hamiltonian. you said that. does that mean. >> doesn't mean necessarily that i agree with him.jo [laughter] i guess it means that i am someone who finds him that i've always found a him fascinating. they hamiltonian innocence that iinin really have spent a lot of time and energy really trying to understand him and why he did what he did and what he did. in that sense, i say hamiltonian scholar. i really h think that monday
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scholars find questioner person or problem the sort of grabs them and there monday that have been made that went out, he was somebody who grabbed me in s a very early.sima hamilton curious scholar. >> sibley set a 10-dollar bill in a relatively well-known physical, what is his legacy? >> one of the things that at the time he was known for, editors had awn suppose in the long term that makes, visit at the time, he was someone atn a really early.that normally firmly believed that the national government need it to be strengthened and that was it a point where it really wasn't strong so when you're in the revolution, very early on is both of the latticed and most fervent supporters of creating and strong national government. in that first term washington, pushing to centralize empower
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things we can now look back in the long term, and say well, some is good and some it's not so good but at the time, certainly matters a lot that you had someone there was pushing that direction. so as far as part of your legacy hoping to create national superstructure that we now kind of take for granted, he played a major role in doing that. >> i want to play a little bit of audio and let you listen to this and tell us what we are listening to. ♪ number one, the main satisfaction, they apologize, need for action. if they vote, grab a friend, reckoned, number three, meet face-to-face, ♪ >> is very hard not to do this [laughter] i am restraining myself.
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so that is, the dual commandments from the hamilton musical. which is it talks about the dual of dueling the role of doing. is largely taken from the chapter of my first book, affairs of honor. text about the burr hamilton duel the rules of doing. >> so did you have a part in the hamilton musical. >> will use my work. and certainly, as i discovered after i saw the play, he found the book, and the use of that. was sort of comical and bizarre to me is that i mostly discovered that the person i would see the play on broadway. i was in the audience is sitting with friends and my friend mr. burstein is the collie in front of mine. we are seeing a play together the song came on and first i said to him, i leaned over and said the dueling song. it's excellent. it started going, and then it
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was really a dueling song, even better. well that sounds remarkably free movement knee. i thought well, the book is the play is really largely based on a biography of hamilton. . . . >>en they said of course it is.
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so my documents were in the musical so that was a mind ndblowing experience. >> how accurate is the musical quick. >> it is musical theater but they did a lot of work to make people aware of people in it. people were not aware of. thit reminds people about the contingency then of course with the constitution when it doesn't explain that. so reminds people about that contingency and that's an
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important thing to. it is a process not just making great decisions. but that being said there are many things that are historically inaccurate that are presented in things that are not discussed like the institution of slavery. but to me with musical theater my response is there is a lot of history in there and more than i would expect it to be. that has made this a profoundly wonderful experience because so many young people are interested in the time. you can grab a hold of that and say i'm interested so now what really happened so the reality of everything that happened around this or what
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is not shown in the play. so it has created a great teaching opportunity. >> and a greaty tweet that was sent out. you do tweet a lot. >> i do. >> in my jefferson and hamilton salmon summit i asked him and he had seen hamilton it feels like it is a being that i read the applications in a majority mention the musical it may be ebbing that it had an impact. >> first of all to all my code tweeters but that's true with my seminar i do tend to ask what brought people to the class and in this case i specifically said i think it's
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ebbing they are not crazy about it anymore but they still mention the course and a lot of them said i really like the musical and i wanted to know more questions. and that's a wonderful thing. i guess it's not really advertising but it's the age of hamilton and jefferson and after the biographies there is no other history book that is brought in so we look at what the two men thought what the america was, revolution, politics but it's all primary sources and very exclusively it doesn't
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say one is right and one is wrong and we grappled with it but it's different every time i teach it because it depends on what the students find and focus on in the letters this is my 2030 year and it's different every single time it's really fun and i learned things i have read those letters many times but you can always learn things just depending on the questions that you bring. it's a really fun course to teach. >> on that same day in response you tweeted about the john adams book yes the adams biography was the sameness that more people into my seminars than anything else. >> for years.
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and i gave them full permission explicitly i said wait why are you in the course i don't want a yale answer there something i had a house my dad talked about it now i'm curious. i just never studied. i give them full permission to say whatever they want for a while was this john adams biographyph so now i'm curious or the hbo miniseries. and then it became the musical. but this time i asked because it wasn't something that necessarily wasat in
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conversation. someone said maybe because younger people are interested iny the musical and the older people don't maybe because the younger people are focused but 30 people try to get into the course one person said explicitly i didn't like the musical and i'm here to learn more about the time. that's great. that's an excellent reason that you hated it but want to ask questions. >> once a month we ask an author to talk about her bodyor of work this month is yale professor historian and author joanna freeman author of affairs of honor 2001. alexander hamilton writings and edited the essential
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hamilton in the field of blood is the most recent bookit last year violence in congress and the road to civil war. she'll be with us for another hour and a a half here are the s there's the numbers, we're going to put those on the screen. participate in our conversation this afternoon, 202 is the area code, 742-8400 for human time zones, 488201. if you live in the mountain and this time zones, we can also take your comments via social media, were going to scroll through our different only addresses. facebook, twitter, etc.. remember book tv is the essential part of that if you want to get a comment to us . how did you get interested in this mark. >> how did you get interested in this.
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>> it was partly the bicentennial. it was everywhere if you are old enough to remember this. it was everywhere. bicentennial tv commercials every day the reporter dispatch had a bicentennial moment. i would cut out all the newspaperar articles. also the musical 1776 and all of that came together for that time. to me so when hamilton the musical was done and it was real and these are real people not just a boring bunch of statues but people on the ground trying to figure things out. i was maybe 14 years old but i started to read biographies i think i started at a i learned
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john adams maybe by irving stone which is not a biography per se but i started reading and then i got to hamilton and i stopped because he was strange in comparison tohe the others not a lot had written about him. he had a weird beginning of his life relatively poor he was intriguing to me as a young person he wanted to accomplish great things so identified with the young person who wanted to have an exciting life so i read the biography ofo hamilton i won't mention it because i didn't like it and i didn't believe
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it in my brain i said it didn't sound convincing so i went to the library and asked the librarian what he read that gave him the right of what he said in the book so she pointed me to the hamilton papers i pulled out a volume and looked at them now granted h century correspondence but to me that was the real stuff. everything else is telling me about the history but that was the history someone putting on paper what they were thinking but to me that was the most exciting thing ever. i don't want someone else to tell me what they think i wanted to read it so i just started tome read the hamilton papers i started with volume one then i went back again and then i did that for years and years it never occurred to me
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to be an author i didn't know there is a profession called a historian i had no outcome in mind it was just the thing i like to do. then later i realized i have an interest i've really gotten to know hamilton in a way that was not thehe goal. >>host: when you put together writings how do youu compile that quick. >> that's an interesting story. i was at uva and with my wonderful advisor basically it was a jefferson hamilton course he made it jefferson in honor of my being there but the library of america the full volume and there is no
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hamilton equivalent. this is only believable because of what i just said so in a weekend i pulled together a reader and photocopied all the letters and put them together and he used it in the course but it worked wonderfully it was made to go along with the jefferson volume now ten years later it occurred to me i had already edited what could have been the library of america in addition so that i went to the of america and said i created a volume that i would like to do with you guys and
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to put this in print for ever because actually love the history. so they created that volume based on what i put together it's a collection not necessarily the greatest hits but it also includes a lot of personal letters that i selected and with his politics a person withas things that he never intended anyone to see so the favorite
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one i like to teach with he wrote up a few days of the constitutional convention and basically says what happens next and says that washington would be chosen president that is great people trust him and trust the people he appoints to office. and then all that goes well maybe he won't be made president somehow. may be other countries will sweep in and then turn against each other.
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with the downfall the government collection but the kicker is this is the guy who is pushing for the constitutional convention at the end the apocalyptic account and says that's not likely was going to happen. he had great hope but was perfectly willing tong assume the experiment will not work and not function the way it is supposed to function in america would be willingam to invest and collapse. that's great to teach with but here is a guy at the federal convention and said i don't know if this will work but
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it's not what you expect of that moment. >> joanna freeman before we get into calls you at the library at 14 studying hamilton we are parents history buffs? >> know. my grandfather was but i don't think i knew that. he was a civil war buff and i know he had the civil war books he used to read but i didn't know anybody who is interested in history so i was off on my own and doing my own thing i thought it was weird to do i never talk to anybody about it i hid the books under myus bed because i was kind of embarrassed other people had comic books and i had volumes of the hamilton papers it was
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just decades later i discovered what i had been doing. >>host: what did your folks do quick. >> i was born in queens my mom initially was a kindergarten teacher to do some work in interior design. watching focus groups to talk about movies or questionnaires and i really like to research
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for this creative process to appeal to the public and may be maybe some ofof that. >> new york you are on with historian joanna freeman. >>caller: thank you. i want to say to be the greatest teacher. 's you get the excitement and the love and the interest going and i wish all teachers in college had the same enthusiasm as you do. >> that's very nice of you to say. >>host: what was that about affairs of honor quick.
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>> i first heard about it probably on the brian lamb show and just the idea. conservative side so there is a book that talks about the early congress and politicians trying to kill each other and this is the most wonderful idea. [laughter] so for my question. you know hamilton better than anybody else. he is a founding father and hamlet sin goes to the constitutional convention and
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knows the rule is he is foreign-born he cannot be president. do you think he would've liked to have beenou president and what did power really mean to him? >> thank you for the very nice thing that you said. first of all there was the exemption clause if you were an american citizen at the time it was ratified you would have been able to be president. he was not exempt he could have been but i don't think he thought that he knew he wasn't very n popular there were various points he was put forward for position he said i will be problematic. washington considered sending him to england. hamilton step forward and said i'm not popular.
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and i think he understood that and say that he liked that idea and that he was being very virtuous but because he thought it was the right thing to promote. for someone who understood power not wanting that kind of power. >> michelle from the bronx. >>caller: thank you for taking my call. i am a retired librarian and i'm so pleased to hear about you at the library. you referred to the fact the early republican party is not the same as they are today.
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but today's republicans constantly refer to them as the party themselves as the party of lincoln. is this accurate clicks i went to a presentation at the historical society one year ago a professor from oklahoma is writing a book pursuing the thesis that hamilton was jewish. any credibility to this? thank youh very much. >> the problem of a straight linelo is if you look at 20th century political historians who have doneia this what they represent and stand for and policies come it changed dramatically over time. you can track the word but not consistently say the party
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from 1850th or 60 so obviously politicians on all sides want to draw that straight line to the past but as a political historian any time. you cringe when that happens so rhetorically speaking but historically speaking that usually doesn't reflectt a reality. as far as the book that will be comingin out from oxford university press, i haven't yet seen the manuscript i have heard about it i cannot judge the credibility i know he's been working on and has done a lot of research i'm really intrigued to see it prick i don't thank you can rule anything out until you see the
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evidence and that leads to that conclusion. certainly not going to say it's not possible. also he is an interesting founder because there's not a of records and you have to do some research like this person did to really find things out and because of that there are a lot of blank spaces. people it project different things for a while people talked about him being the illegitimate son of george washington and other creative things some of that might be true but the fact is you have to get to the evidence. saw really looking forward to seeing the book like to see what builds the argument. >> what do we know about his life early on the island and why was he born there quick.
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>> his mother was named rachel her parents were supposedly french actually have done research at some point so this is the only research i know and that's like the perfect vacation then i would research in the archives and then in the afternoon i would lie on thee beach. but his mother was there and his father from someone of a noble inherit than the first son inherits everything the next son doesn't get much. them a try to get rich in thek caribbean supposedly he was born illegitimately because marry ands did not
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his father at a certain point they moved to st. croix he leaves and doesn't come back the mother runs a general store then she dies and he's relatively young age so never has much money or connections and on this island but gets off and ultimately ends up in lynorth america and then with the americans revolution he's a clgreat writer and put together a charitable fund so he can get an education and that's how he ends up ultimately in new jersey then new york. >> how would you describe his relationship with george washington quick. >> the shortest way would be conflicted. [laughter] that is a crucial relationship for him in a very important
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way everybody knows that washington could end up being the president and how important he is but during that point he puts himself with the nation's first man and that is crucial. >> so he was an icon at that time. >> by the time he becomes president then there was a pennsylvania senator and in his diary he goes to washington as the first man and is awestruck. so what hamilton means of a memo that people really did respect and admire washington because very few americans had an education so that is crucial he ends up being in contact and entrusted by him
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so in a sensee that makes hamilton's career was a strong thinker and aggressive and shoving himself into situations. it is key so without it it's interesting to imagine and unaware he would have gone without it. he puts himself in this sphere that allows him to have that what he wanted to have a he's conflictedav he has to chase a little but during the revolution he doesn't want to be anybody's favorite he wants to be appreciated for his merit he doesn't like the fact people see him as a favorite. during the war him in washington had a spat they
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were both fatigued he was working with washington and listening to writing things and then correcting them so then there was a late point in theng war and working with washington and then he runs downwn the staircase and then stopped at the foot of the stairway lafayette grabbed a hold of your lapels and talking to you and in the engaged manner then at the top of the stairway is washington glaring down and said something along the lines colonel hamilton you've kept me waiting with ten minutes you treat me with disrespect and hamilton would much rather be on the battlefield and said that's not true but if you believe that then we depart in
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and surrenders his position and then hamilton refuses to take the apology he writes one letter to his father-in-law to which he says i need to tell you what happened let me explain to you so please understand do not think badly of me and he wrote a short letter to his friend and said this is close to a direct quote a great man and i have come to an open rupture basically this notir the first time but it will be the last time i take it so he feels put upon and storms off so that tells you about that relationship i don't think we hamilton had resentment but he
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needed him in that way it doesn't contain himself in that way in washington is very patient with hamilton because he comes back again and again and he lets them in the circle. >> the next call comes from arkansas. >>caller: hello. thank you. i have a comment and a question. my understanding is that james somerset working for his american master in england sued for his freedom in 1772 and one his case to free himself and 15000 other slaves. the case was widely reported and followed in the american colony with widespread concern
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that they may lose their property and their slaves on which their wealth was based. a good book on the subject is slave nation 2000 oh five from two professors at rutgers. so i believe the case in england in 1772 was one of the real causes of the american revolution. it's not acknowledged as such so then what are your thoughts on this and thank you so very much. >> so what you are talking about isin a point throughout this period will several points but number one in
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england there was some anti- slave activity going on during the colonies in the united states but also the institution of slavery was in a long standing third rail if you were a southerner it affected the understanding of the power that you had so certainly you can say the institution of slavery throughout colonial and major rol ca plays a majoror role.. people who owned property of time that they need to be protecting in those institutions of government are
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of property rights so that is part ofpr the mix that is front and center of american history. had it always been that way and some of what we are seeing in recent years and in recent decades of people being aggressive to restore that part of the story and how we understand who we are as a nation. >>host: next call from tom in chicago. >>caller: hello. thank you very much. several years ago when the movie lincoln came out i became fascinated with thaddeus stevens that tommy lee jones played so brilliantly as an interesting character so what i'm wondering is the violence on the floor of congress that you
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write about given how easily provoked so many of these other congressmen were of the other party and how provocative stevens was in a brutally rhetorical way was he challenged to a duel or if he was on the receiving end. d >> thaddeus stevens who furthered the anti- slavery he is fun to study. i am not aware of anyone explicitly this isn't surprising given what you just said that he was effective at speaking up and going as any
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southerner who made a gesture in that direction. some in the later years of the war on southerners are trying to find their way back into the union nobody was there back then but there was a lot of violet one - - violence back then. you are right is not necessarily that they wanted him but he looks at it as a momentary breeze that will lapse but he isn't at the
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receiving end but isn't afraid to speak his mind. there is a moment where the fugitive slave act where congressmen go hide in the library so they don't have to vote on an issue he says you can send them to the library now and then tell them to come back but i as far as i know not really physically attacked. >> may 22nd, 1856 a name that is lost to history not until i reread feel the blood of custer brook. >> it took me a long time to write that almost 17 years.
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but with that chunk c of time writing about physical violence most people would say there is that guy. and there's at least one violent incident in progress. who came to the ground sitting at his desk who is a congressman and he is in the house. sumner stood up to make a very aggressive antislavery speech and in it he had insulted south carolina so basically says you have insulted my part
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of the union and then punish him for that. so now sumner is trapped with his anxiety that he continues that now what is interesting although there is another one - - a lot of violence it is supposed to take place in the street but if you stage an attack in that way and brooks for two days try to catch them on the capitol grounds because see why what happens
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in the senate chamber. and that abolitionist in the senate chamber that becomes a south leading the north into submission and that has national repercussions that takes off the chart. >> and with the cohort and making sure he didn't come to sumner's help. >> correct and to people to keep people away but here is an interesting thing about violence there is a lot of
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violence and for that to be fair and then to defend himself. so if you attack the unarmed man you are supposed to be unarmed. so the example of that of the late 18 fifties a letter from the congressman that he looks up to see a menacing looking stranger and then said good there will be a fight but then looked at the colleague said that will be fine.
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but then he says he spots a weapon and immediately positions himself so he lets hethe fight happen so what has happened in that it seems like an unfair fight in many ways so of that investigation but brooks is asked can you warn that you will do this and that will make itt fair. but he did not and then is reprimanded for not and then said you should have warned him. so that when we have redeemed
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i it. >> was he reelected quick. >> he was celebrated in the south. and then gets some type of infection and suffocates and dies in most of those aggressive fighters so if you look at the incoming congress to fight the noncombatant and then they tended to get reelected because at one point he is reprimanded. shame on you. that you should be sent home
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and says they will reelect me because i'm fighting for their rights and he is right. but those who fight in that way with those southerners those that are put there because of the assumption you need that edge to fight to protect their interest including the institution of slavery. >> next call is robbery in atlanta. >> you are delightful. thank you. but that relationship between hamilton and washington you pretty much answered everything so i will ask something else with the
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prospects of hamilton had that not occurred or cast adrift with his life that way or would he try to get back on the national stage quick. >> that's a really good question. so first off hamilton's political careers not doing very well and then not to do any favors. then this is with the adulterous affair. and then he writes a pamphlet attacking candidates like anna - - adams that really didn't
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do him any favors. that they do not have discretion or control. and so that federalist party so in one way or another so that had not happened what crackshey have done and then to become a commentator. and then that was along the lines of thein federalist.
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later years he was thinking about that. men with those governments. and that is critical and that is for the final statement and why he feels compelled to fight the dual. and then to fight the dual i just should not agree to fightpo this. and that is likely too happen.
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and then the feeling he needed to redeem his reputation if he needed to again. but then ultimately making that now working. and if they didn't and as we ride into that one way or another. and then to say and with that crisis to come. and to be someone that is repared to fight.
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and with that and it might come. >> i read the federalist papers like they come from the supreme court is that the right way to do it quick. >> in that commentary. and this is the exaggeration of what i tell my student as a commercial advertisement for the constitution. and here is why. were hamilton and madison what they might not like about it quick's so let's explain that
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it really isn't intended to be objective but it is a document with the purpose those that are written to defend and promote the constitution and ideally they will ratify that. >>caller: thank you professor for being there. with a biography of john marshall. and then to go into great detail of how jefferson was.
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i'm having great difficulty coming to peace with this because of the concept so that behavior and lack of integrity it is overwhelming so how do you deal with this? so there is a tendency to take sides. and with jefferson getting the promotion it is that if you look over the long haul. hamilton does well jefferson is a it is reputation and that is true beyond them. so what appears to be very well decided in that way.
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and then to have a very strong opinion about a marshall. i encourage you to go out and then what i do with those students and generally that they haven't even understood. so the best thing you could do but personally i am a person who loves to read that but at that is favorable to present but the evidence that is a broad statement so you
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yourself as a reader could evaluate and decide. i just don't think it's ever that clear. that most people were not happy in the fact of the matter is it's them up against each other leading to something so that's a way to think about it in that aspect of hamilton so it's the blend of ideas and the ways in which overbl time that they find ways
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to build on that. >> we will go back to the twitter feed why do you use 1755 quick. >> my twitter handle. we don't know when hamilton was born is other 55 or 57 but then that suggest he was born in 1755 i went was 1755 because of the documents i am not fully vested 257 but that's where it comes from. >> you are a 1755 or. [laughter] >> other people feel very
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strongly i don't have that personal investment. >> a tweet from 2018 during this out to the twitter sphere to see what happens what if there was a giant history teaching and historians and then to help us so what was the reaction to that? >> i was very honest with that idea that would be useful to make us think about american history and not a glossy look at the past but not knowing what would happen but sometimes are teachers or
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historians. that then the number ofl colleagues this is something i'm eager to pursue i think it would be a wonderful thing with that complexity. and also to talk about the ways and i was so encouraged by the response. that would be a wonderful a
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team in the national center but those in the local level they talk about history in a targeted way. come back to me in a couple months i'll have a better idea but as a historian may engaged with scholars and fervently want to communicate with the public but historians scholars should be among those were aggressively dealing but what a great thing to have a conversation. >> to get you on record on the
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c-span cameras. >> yes. >> >>caller: i didn't come in at the very beginning so perhaps i missed this but it seems hamilton's greatest contribution was that economic idea that he was for the assumption that when so many other founding fathers distrusted banks he thought we should all be farmers and it just seems to me that paying our debts from the very beginning makes such a huge difference in this country and
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again without relator's success. >> what you do in leavenworth kansas? >>caller: i am retired i worked in business insurance. >> i always liked history have always been interested in ihistory the way things are now if you read history it is comforting because you can see the long haul. >> in question. you are absolutely right with the financial plan i talked about the important part of the legacy with the first
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secretary of treasury as a national structure and that is the perfect person and to talk about the fact so then to say the revolutionary war debt that they are not dealing with debt and now to put things in power and you are right and that's where he wants to create a national bank and that it is crucial and to say
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you have to step forward in nae way possible to prove we are a nation and that we need to tend to our debt. and with the support of public credit is not just financial but who we are in the nation but that concrete thing with that three-part plan where there were many people in the jeffersonian's were more complex and then i have the oriented idea that hamilton
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steps forward for that kind of work to say it's tempting that that ideology on the a broad level so how good he is to take office on the nation's financesin and then to collect that information finance in some ways and the plan is a crucial part of what he does. >>.
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>>or history begins before the columnist arrives and must include native american history.rs >> absolutely. this is the challenge then the question ises how broadly you are absolutely right and particularly it's about having rights taken away you have to deal with people whose rights are violated and that is at the center. so again i have had two conversations about this so far it is something how to do a merge do it.
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>> we have to talk about alk benjamin brown french. >> so when i was writing was straight up physical violence in congress there were 70 incidents in the house but a chapter sod be how do i tell the story or investigate the violence and early on in the process with benjamin brown french and then to be in the lincoln white house he had a newspaper column and is a poet and what
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is's wonderful in the circle of congress so to act as a guide to look and what is wonderful is he rises from a small town in new hampshire that i'm in the nation's capital he is collegial and people like him and to be called a boldface democrat and start off as that guy and then to promote the party and protect the union
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that he talks about this in his diary casey needs to shoot a southerner so if i could explain if they wanted to appease through 1860 who buys a gun waiting to shoot them and that is the emotional logic of deceit. how does that make sense to him and others? this is the way we understand the coming civil war so benjamin brown french so it took me forever to write the book because that is a good definition but he is a forest dump of the.
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when i was making the footnotes in the book that something is there they are watching it happening - - happen like andrew jackson in french is right there. and the gettysburg address and then standing beside them. first and then standing beside in the white house after he dies and then there is this incredible eyewitness.
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and then to have that extreme polarized. >> where did he find his papers quick. >> there is the published version that came out many years ago. he adored thee lincoln. that someone gave him a pair of socks to give to lincoln that he gives each foot and then lincoln find that very funny. and you know how to spell the word missile? and then he doesn't know how to spell that.
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but then with those 11 volumes in the diary. so when i was finishing in the book and trying to figure out 17 years the last ten pages so shuffling through papers. to write up on what congress meant too him. and then to see the capital from my. office. and then of the evidence.
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>> this next goal is for my district. >>. >> and then the correct spelling and pronunciation from merrimack. and from thoseen earlier comments so my question is what words of wisdom of what not to do to strengthen the nation of ours right now which whis divided? i'm really d interesting that you want to create cultural thinking and i will wait for your comments.
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>> they will look at historians and that something i cannot do. but the times they have functioned the best is when they listen to each other in some way or another so with debate and compromise people scream at each other with extreme polarization or sometimes extreme polarization but there needs to be a willingness to debate so i don't have a solution and then
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to promote that atmosphere and
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that's a good point it doesn't happen in the way that it did before. when those members get into the union it is within that capital not long after then you have northerners were going to let them back in? you remember what that is like so that power dynamic has shifted but now what you are suggesting with your questions doesn't mean the violencesu stops that you are no longer effective to deploy a in the
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south end violence continues among politicians it's an important point to make the violence doesn't stop it just shifts it is tempered and american politics has been that way for a very long time but the broader question is that's another question i could offer you a brilliant solution that i do not have but it's an important point to make not like it has suddenly ended at any point. >> new jersey go-ahead. >>caller: and thank you for all your wonderful research i can see back in 2004 you had a
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presentation so had you considered the duel out in california as us senator from california and almost outside san francisco and given the context of california of the democratic party was at something that you thought about? there are literally of dozens ofet other examples. >> are you an amateur historian or is as part of your profession quick. >> indirectly i am a professor
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teaching political science with that officer who moved to california and i'm also very involved here with history and your viewers should know that the center - - so i am very interested as an amateur historian. >> i did not expect that answer. [laughter] spirit that do will that you are describing it was dramatic but what i had to do for the book once you start to broaden beyond washington between people in congress i ended up limiting myself to either wing
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congress was in session but now how the violence was shaping and what americans thought about congress and the state of theou nation. had to stop myself from getting beyond that but in the end the mix of people in congress t and all these different ways had different understandings of how it works with their political viewpoints and interest and if you put them together in the house and senate and force them to deal withth issues. that is one of the initial issues putting me into this project. what happens with those populations in a very public
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venue that a national audience with these possibilities what happens in that type of climate. >> washington dc go-ahead. >>caller: i'm a big fan of american nations by colin woodard he has an unflattering episode of hamilton. during the revolutionary war those from appellation westernwe pennsylvania the continental congress gave them ious for years they could use that to pay their taxes to the state of pennsylvania then robert morris comes along he was described as a protége or describes hamilton as a protége of morris p-letter
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engineers that people can no longer pay the state taxes with congressional ious and because of that they are forced to sell the script at 15 percent of face value. friends of morris own 50 percent of the outstanding lyscript and then shortly after that hamilton and morris come up with an idea that the us government will pay all of the scripts in full the 6 percent interest paid in hard currency of gold or silver and then tax the very people, these veterans that were forced to pay and sell them. so there is a rebellion washington puts down the rebellion but it is unsavory.
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>> we will leave it there and hear from professor freeman. >> that is an excellent point with that controversy when he was secretary of treasury he explicitly says madison says there are speculators that have these ious hoping that down the road they would be paid in full that there should be a way to distinguish between the speculators and the veterans and then to step forward he says is not practical because there's no way to track and follow the path that even then not even
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the form of currency that's worth the immediate value that's how he wants to use it so his argument is if it's going to be practical as a form of currency than the stated value needs to be what it is worth so that is inherently unfair to those who were b given that to begin with. now you can see his logic but in many ways that is not fair to many people and at the time and not just later years but they said that's not the only thing but what are you doing that is exceedingly unfair and biased and that will benefit the speculators that you are so eager to please and impress this is unseemly there is a logic to that. he had his logic but that
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would be his counterargument. >>caller: tom from denver you are on the air. >>caller: thank you for taking my m call. doctor freeman i once you want to saw you debate clay jenkins and he played jefferson anywhere hamilton. >> that was a long time ago. >> good i hope i didn't have too much coffee. >> there is a funny thing about that. he has gone on to do other things but for a time it was a jefferson reenactor then well known he gave jefferson radio show in public programs that he was my senior thesis advisor in college and he was becoming interested in jefferson my senior year in college i was already interested in hamilton he was
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building a model of monticello. i made some snide remark about jefferson and he looked at me i didn't know he was interested in jefferson so we crossed paths at that moment he was beginning his jefferson career that i lost touch but then we crossed paths later when he was doing his jefferson work i think it was the national endowment for the humanities. but we didn't had a debate he represented jefferson i represented hamilton and i remember he made a snide comment about hamilton hsomething like it's taken me a lifetime to get to know jefferson but i could do hamilton in a weekend and i
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remember i was very offended. [laughter] so then they stood up for him but i have no idea what you remember of that event but it was fun. and what an honor to do that with a former teacher and the weirdness of having that because he was teaching english at the time he was in english major and had nothing to do with history. somewhere i think i have that on the vhs videotape which means i cannot play it. >> maybe you could reenact that on your podcast. >> maybe not. [laughter]wh >> the podcast is back story so basically we do a deep dive back into history looking at
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eethe deeper path there recently was a show about revelations over slavery. we recently for this week we did a show about the history of labor in america. they are cultural about collecting and that is very conversational. the four of us. obviously this is self-promotio self-promotion. to say this book approaches politics and unusual way it
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does not examine political events or personalities in isolation or reduce them to the level of historical anecdotes to talk - - to tackle so broad of a theme to lose perspective with broad cultural history and detailed analysis of the political narrative to use the vantage point of a historian. >> i wrote that partly when you write about the founders people think about them as great men but what if we just think of the elite population of men in a particular environment and what they do? because looking at behavior of na particular population and everybody looks at the founders that way. so i put that there partly because of the one people to think of the founders as great men by individuals doing smart
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and un- smart things trying to make sense of that >> author lee.

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